Saturday, November 24, 2012

Book Page Crafts and Paper Christmas Ornament Tutorial

Becky's Thanksgiving Vintage Book Table Decorations From Murfreesboro, TN

Look at those gorgeous place settings above! I was so inspired by what a friend had done for holiday decor at a Thanksgiving dinner, that I decided to pay tribute to the creative hostess (and great cook) by writing about using vintage books for crafts. Even the most avid readers will sometimes find that they have a dusty tome or two that will never see the light of day, and if you lack books for crafting, check your nearest thrift store or yard sales. You can often get bargains on tattered and torn books that are perfect for crafting. In fact, the yellowing and patina of age adds a nostalgic touch. 

There are many things you can create with old books; they also look great on a bookshelf as decor. You can find instructions for advanced projects such as purses and book safes online, or you can tear out the pages to use in a myriad of ways. I like vintage books, magazines, and maps for card making, decoupage, wrapping small packages, and shredding into confetti. In the last picture, you can see how I used them to wrap small sample candles that I enclose with orders for my etsy shop. 

Today, I am going to show you an easy holiday project, making the paper ball Christmas ornament in the picture below. 

-magazine or book pages
-quick drying glue
-large hole punch or die cutter (3 inch punch shown in picture)
-alcohol ink dyes for color, optional
-small hole punch
-string for hanging

Paper Ornament, Glue Runner, 3 inch Punch, Small Hole Puncher

 Step 1:
-Punch 14 large circles with the large die cut. If desired, use the alcohol inks to stain the paper and let it dry before punching.

Step 2:
-Fold the 14 large circles in half.
Fold the Circles in Half
Step 3:
-Using fast dry glue or adhesive, glue the 14 large folded circles together, so that it forms a sphere as the paper unfolds.

Step 4:
-Glue the first and 14th circles together, forming a sphere.

Step 5:
-Let the adhesive dry and punch a hole in the top for hanging.
Glue the Folded Circles Together
Book Pages Used As Candle Favor Packaging

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Team Holiday Showcase

Jingle bells, jingle bells, Santa's on his way! Take a look at these great gifts, all handmade here in TN from members of our Middle TN Etsy team.  I've also included a set of vintage boots; we can't forget the special place in our heart for vintage sellers! This year's holiday showcase is a little late, due to computer problems, so my apologies go out to all of you artisans for not sharing your items sooner. In any event, Happy Holidays and enjoy these pics as the best of TN handmade goods, perfect for presents, or yourself.

Festive Earrings by Rew Eliott:

Christmas Pillow Cover by Hugs N Love:

Nutcracker Earrings from Earrings By Susan:
Winter Veil Cookie Candles made by Mylana:

Crochet Santa Hat from 5packs Crochet:

Vintage Cowboy Boots from Vintage Country USA:

Hand-Etched Deer Glasses by Blue Cat Etsy:

Treble Clef Hammered Ornaments by The Salvaged Edge:

Snowman Fused Glass Pendant by Shasglasscrafts:

Hemp Jingle Bell Door Hanger from Infinity Designs TN:
Snowman Card by Two Cats and an Owl:

Holiday Towels from Can Do Stitching:

Christmas Wedding Invitations from Jotters and Journals:

Thanksgiving Week Winning Team Treasury

Congrats Anna from Blue Cat Etsy!

'Elegance' by BlueCatEtsy

I love the colors of this blanket

Bliss in Bloom flannel ...

Light blue Dzi agate be...

Brooch, christmas gift ...

Christmas gift idea E...

Light Blue Green Floral...

Light Green Heart Shape...


Shabby-Chic style Light...

Pleated Light Green 16 ...

Salmon Cat, art print

Bubble shibori triangle...

Lace Fashion Scarf Ligh...

Elegant Salmon Pink and...

1 pc pink and light bl...

Stoneware Pottery Batte...

Salmon Embroidered Vint...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nov. 16th Team Meeting Notes

Amy from FAveritte Creations
Anna From The Crafty Blue Cat
 It's always great to see old faces and meet new ones! Happy holidays to the team and thanks for all who joined us at Hasting's in Murfreesboro for coffee and chatting. This meeting was more of a social meeting with some strategizing to deal with the upcoming holiday shopping season. Here are some of the more important notes from the meeting and a few pictures:

- Unfortunately, the current team leader (Me, Clare from Mylana) has just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I will be having surgery sometime soon and a little less active on the team due to medical appointments. You can help by participating in team discussions and contests and letting everyone know about any craft shows or local stores that might want to sell handmade goods.

- Congratulations to Anna from The Crafty Blue Cat on her first sale! Don't give up if things start off slow. Set a few goals and work on things a little every day.

- Want a shop critique? Ask in the team discussion for either general or specific questions.

- Make sure your etsy shop is set up for accepting Etsy gift cards before Christmas. Check your account settings today.
We Exchanged Business Cards and Coupons

- The next meeting will be in either Jan. or Feb. Look at the team discussion boards for a thread on times and dates.

- If you are interested in selling at local craft shows, check the team discussion boards and Facebook for announcements of new shows.

- Keep extra shipping supplies on hand for holiday orders.

- Try to find a way to organize your shop goals, custom orders, and shop inventory. Write it down or find an online program or app to help you.

-Have a safe and happy holiday! Our team holiday showcase blog post is coming soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cold Weather and Hot Tea

When the temps cool down, I always reach for a cup of hot, fresh brewed tea to warm up and nourish my soul. I have regular black tea, green teas, decaf, herbal, and fruit varieties. Somtimes, I will spice things up with a cinnamon stick. lemon, oranges, milk, or vanilla beans. The possibilities are endless. Hot tea is relaxing and great to promote sleep. It is filled with antioxidants and can be made with medicinal herbs. In fact, tea is the perfect gift and a must have for any crafty person. Today, I will be extolling the benefits of hot tea for DIY gifts, decor, and holiday greetings.

For gifts and crafts, I prefer the foil type teabags, available in any grocery store. They have a long shelf life and the foil packages add a snazzy touch to your design or gift. So, grab your shopping carts and glue guns and get ready to delve into the adventures of hot tea this holiday season. Below are a few idea for using tea bags:

- Gift tags, staple a tea bag to your wrapped presents or gift bags for a personal touch.

- Business and thank you cards, if you sell crafts, consider attaching a tea bag to your business card as a thank you gesture, when you mail an order.

- Christmas cards, lightweight and easy to mail, slip a gourmet teabag in your cards to make your greeting stand out.

- Gift jars and boxes, arrange tea bags in a mason jar or decorative box for a special gift. You can have herbal or fruity themes or opt to include candy and gourmet spices as well. Tea bags inside a mug or travel cup are a great gift too.

-Christmas ornaments and decorations, try hanging on a mini-tree or making garland and bunting.

-Tea bar, have a selection of fancy teas in lieu of coffee at your next party or gathering.